By By Pablo A. Tariman
posted 3-Feb-2019  ·  
689 views  ·   0 comments  ·  
Jericho Rosales and Jessy Mendiola in “The Girl in the Orange Dress.” A showbiz story with an insight on movie idols.

Movie fans especially the avid, nay, rabid ones, can very well relate to “The Girl in the Orange Dress” by Jay Abello.

A movie fan named Cacai (Ria Atayde) cooks up a happening with her friends who equally admire a movie idol named Rye (Jericho Rosales). They set it up near the hotel where their idol is scheduled to appear in one promotional event.

Their common friend Anna (Jessy Mendiola) is part of this grand scheme. But by sheer stroke of circumstance, Mendiola ended up in the room of the idol without knowing she has invaded the private sanctuary of the public property.  She is clueless why the hotel lobby is full of reporters screaming the name of the matinee idol. All that she wanted was to get out of the room and escape with all her “virtues” and “good image” intact.

While trying to find her way out, she gets to know the movie idol up close and realizing later he is the object of public fantasy. But she is curious why he is not so full of his fame and followers. He seems like an ordinary human being just being himself.

Much of the scenes are straight from a movie writer’s milieu, scoops and movie talk shows and all. Through all these, Mendiola discovers a man, not the movie personality.  As if by stroke of good fate, the idol falls for his roommate who doesn’t give a damn about his fame and his immense following. Their exchange is a virtual monologue on how a great following doesn’t necessarily translate into great fulfillment and happiness. The character of Rosales sees it as a trap. Mendiola sees him as a thoroughly unpresumptuous movie personality whose heart and soul she sees, more than his screaming fans.

Rosales is absolutely in control of his role and the good thing is that he has endowed his part with a lot of humanizing elements that separates the public figure from the private person.

Mendiola reciprocates and finds a co-actor blending beautifully with her character’s inner charm. She was able to project a kind of detachment that makes her character thoroughly appealing without trying too hard.

That poor girl Cacai (Atayde) lived up to her part and one thought she had more redeeming lines than Anna.

One was not surprised that the film quietly fascinated me in the last MMFF which truth to tell has more inferior entries than superior ones. For another, this latest Jay Abello film is more accessible than his earlier “Pinay Beauty.”

To my great surprise, “The Girl in the Orange Dress” has a spontaneous, if, believable story and the actors (Rosales as Rye and Mendiola as Anna) made something thoroughly magical out of it.

But underneath the suspense and panic in the hotel room of the famous star (|Rosales), you see an individual discovering love amidst the fame and the maddening demands of showbiz that keeps him on the go.

What follows is true love blooming out of social media and out of showbiz presscons.

“The Girl in the Orange Dress” -- back in cinemas January 23 -- is my pre-Valentine film choice of the month.

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